Importance of translating Indigenous language highlighted

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The first of a series of Indigenous lectures commenced today at the
Heritage Village with Professor Ian Robertson, a Guyanese Linguist
from the University of the West Indies, focusing on the importance of
the interpretation and translation of the Indigenous and other
languages.

“Language is a systematic set of arrangements for using symbols for
reality and is a very important dimension because the symbols are
sound-based… the important thing about it, is that language is really
a set of symbols for reality and that set of symbols would allow us to
deal with a very complex set of things,” Professor Robertson
explained.

According to the professor, language can be used to document history,
identify a group, and to show inclusivity. He also noted that language
plays a very important role in education because while English is the
most widely spoken language, it is proven that persons learn better in
their native language.

On the question of language and history, he noted that every dialect
captures the history of the people who speak that language, and that
‘there is no better historical document on a people than the language
they speak.’

Archaeologist George Simon shared knowledge on traces of Indigenous
Archaeology found in the Berbice area, which started in the 1990’s,
while young historian and resident of Moruca, Region One, Andrew
Campbell shared a brief history of the Indigenous Peoples who existed
in the 1800’s.

Attendees were allowed the opportunity to asked questions pertaining
to the various aspects of the Indigenous culture.

Similar lectures will be conducted at Primary and Secondary Schools
across the country throughout this week, to educate the students on
the life, work and journey of the Indigenous Peoples.

Among those who participated in the lecture series were students from
the University of Guyana and the Hinterland Dormitory.

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